Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku: Late night sushi in Tokyo

The Kokoro-iki Sushi Set with Miso Soup, Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku is part of a popular sushi chain found in Japan. It’s well known for its quality sushi at reasonable prices. After traveling for 12 hours from California to Tokyo, I was tired, jet lagged, and in the mood for sushi. Since it was midnight, my options were limited. Exhausted from traveling, I almost gave up and went to sleep. It was then that I remembered Sushi Zanmai. With certain locations open 24 hours a day or …

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Kamo to Negi: Best Duck Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

Duck Confit Ramen, Kamo to Negi, Tokyo, Japan

When my friend found out I was in Tokyo, he recommended I visit Kamo to Negi, a small shop near Ueno Station, famous for their duck ramen. Although I’ve had duck before and enjoyed countless bowls of ramen during my visits to Japan, I had never tried duck ramen. So, I knew it was something I had to experience for myself. Although many ramen shops have been in business for decades, Kamo to Negi, which opened in 2016, has rapidly …

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7 of the best must eat foods in Nagoya, Japan

This rich and filling dish is Miso Katsu, Nagoya, Japan

The famous food scenes of larger Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka, along with Kyoto, often overshadow Nagoya cuisine. It’s understandable as these cities attract more tourists and have a stronger presence in international media. Despite having a population of over 2 million, numerous tourist attractions, and a diverse culinary scene influenced by foreign cuisines, Nagoya is often overlooked in favor of other destinations in Japan. And, even when tourists visit, they usually no idea what to eat in Nagoya. …

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Torikizoku: Popular yakitori chain found across Japan

Momo Kizokuyaki Tare (Chicken Thigh and Leek Skewer), Torikizoku, Osaka, Japan

Founded in 1986, Torikizoku has established itself as one of Japan’s most popular izakaya chains, with almost 700 locations nationwide. Today, the chain is well known for its affordable prices, cozy atmosphere, and freshly prepared yakitori skewers. You can find Torikizoku locations in major cities, including Tokyo (Shinjuku and Shibuya), Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Kobe, and Hiroshima. There are many reasons to visit Torikizoku. First, they offer various yakitori skewers, including chicken, beef, pork, and vegetables. Second, their prices are affordable, …

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21 of the best things to do and see in Shinjuku

Shinjuku, the center of entertainment in Tokyo, Japan

When I think of Tokyo, one of the first places that comes to mind is Shinjuku. This vibrant and dynamic ward, or neighborhood, which surrounds Shinjuku Station, is the epicenter of nightlife, entertainment, shopping, business, drinking, and eating in Tokyo. For decades, Shinjuku has attracted both locals and tourists who come from all around to experience its bright lights and non-stop action. I would describe Shinjuku as the heart of modern Tokyo. And, while some say it’s touristy, it is …

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Kura Sushi: Popular conveyor belt sushi chain in Osaka, Japan

Tuna and Green Onion, Kura Sushi, Osaka, Japan

Kura Sushi is a popular Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain known for its affordable sushi dishes. Founded in 1995, Kura Sushi today has over 450 locations in Japan along with 22 in Taiwan and 47 in the United States. On my recent visit to Osaka, I stopped by the Kura Sushi Shinsekai Tsutenkaku location in the popular Shinsekai district. As mentioned before, Kura Sushi is known for its affordable sushi. Everything from salmon to tuna to shrimp starts at …

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Yamamotoya Honten: Miso nikomi udon in Nagoya, Japan

The famous Miso Nikomi Udon, Yamamotoya Honten, Nagoya, Japan

With a history spanning nearly 100 years, Yamamotoya Honten has established itself as the best place to try Nagoya-style miso nikomi udon. Originating in Nagoya, miso nikomi udon is a traditional Japanese noodle dish characterized by thick udon noodles simmered in a flavorful and salty miso broth. As Yamamotoya Honten’s signature dish, the miso nikomi udon showcases every ingredient. This includes handmade noodles, a masterfully prepared broth using quality ingredients, and miso exclusively fermented for the restaurant. Over the years, …

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Misokatsu Yabaton: Best pork cutlet in Nagoya, Japan

Waraji Tonkatsu Set, Misokatsu Yabaton, Nagoya, Japan

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’re likely familiar with tonkatsu, a flavorful dish consisting of breaded and deep-fried pork loin or fillet. It is one of my favorite foods to eat on my trips to Japan. In Nagoya, you can find a unique variation of tonkatsu known as miso katsu. The local specialty consists of a deep-fried pork loin drenched in a rich and salty miso sauce. If you’re on the hunt for the best miso katsu in …

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Sekai no Yamachan: Nagoya’s Famous Tebasaki Chicken Wings

Maboroshi no Tebasaki (Chicken Wings), Sekai No Yamachan, Nagoya, Japan

During my recent trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to visit Nagoya for the first time. Despite reading and hearing that Nagoya was less impressive than Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto, I was excited to explore a new city. Whenever I travel somewhere new, one of the first things I do is research what to do and what to eat. And, through my research, I discovered Sekai no Yamachan. Sekai no Yamachan is a chain of popular izakaya restaurants that …

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Narita or Haneda? Which of Tokyo’s airports should you fly into

Views of planes on the tarmac from the restaurant

First-time Japan visitors often ask me, “Which airport in Tokyo should I fly into, Narita or Haneda?” This is a tough question, as there is no easy answer. Which airport you fly into depends on factors including price, connections, the location of your hotel, and where you are heading after you land. Both airports are world-class. They offer excellent services and some of the best on-time performances of any airport worldwide. Narita International Airport is further from central Tokyo than …

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